SANTA CLARA Quarterback Alex Smith said he felt fine Monday morning after being diagnosed with a concussion after Sunday's loss to the Cowboys.
"I felt good the next day," Smith said Thursday. "I felt really good waking up the next day."
Smith, however, still had to pass a battery of tests before he was cleared to practice Wednesday. He said those tests were done Sunday through Tuesday at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.
Under new NFL guidelines regarding concussions, players must be asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, have a normal neurological examination and normal neuropsychological testing, and get cleared to return by both team doctors and independent neurological consultants.
The league is more sensitive to concussions with recent medical evidence linking them to dementialike diseases later in life. Three former 49ers who died this year, backs Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson and center Forrest Blue, were suffering from dementia.
The brains of all three have been sent to Boston University, which is studying the connection between sports-related concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
Smith, however, said the recent focus on concussions did not make him more sensitive to the issue.
"I think you play this game long enough, it's something you deal with," he said. "Hitting is a part of it. I dealt with it in college. You deal with it as a pro as well."
None of Smith's teammates or coaches said they noticed anything different during the game. The hit is believed to have occurred in the first half. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said he found out the next day.
" And I said, 'Somebody told me that you had a concussion,' " Roman said. "And he says, 'Yeah, but no big deal. I'm fine.' Tough guy, tough guy."
Miller time Smith wasn't the only 49er to play with an injury in the second half of Sunday's game. Fullback Moran Norris was in on four plays after injuring his leg in the first half.
Roman said seventh-round pick Bruce Miller, who has yet to play an offensive snap this season, will fill in Sunday.
"We're excited to see (him)," Roman said. "He's having a great week of practice."
Et cetera Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he didn't think outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks was offside on a critical third-down play at the end of the first half Sunday. The 49ers had forced a third-down incompletion on the play. The penalty gave Dallas another third-down opportunity, which it converted into a 53-yard touchdown by wide receiver Miles Austin.
Fangio said safety Dashon Goldson and cornerback Shawntae Spencer will play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Fangio said he hadn't decided who his starters will be at safety and cornerback.